Changes of Port Bulk Commodity Trade in the Form of Indices Stabilize Global Industrial and Supply Chains

QINGDAO, China, Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — At the 2023 Qingdao Yellow River Basin Land-Sea Linkage High-Quality Development Seminar held on August 26, 2023, the International Shipping Hubs Development Index Report (2023), the Xinhua – SPG Port Bulk Commodity Index Annual Operation Report (2023) and the RCEP Seaborne Trade Index Report (2023) were released.

According to the participants, the port bulk commodity trade in the form of indices can be digitally presented to realize the efficient linkage between port shipping and bulk commodity trade and offer reliable guidance for the smooth operation of the global industrial chain and supply chain.

Following the “Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index”, the China Economic Information Service (CEIS) has introduced another global port and shipping assessment index — the International Shipping Hubs Development Index Report (2023). This report evaluates the overall development of the world’s main shipping hubs and port clusters based on various categories and characteristics.

The findings suggest that international trunk hubs, including Singapore Port, Shanghai Port, Ningbo Zhoushan Port, Rotterdam Port, and Qingdao Port, have attained a high level of development; Guangzhou Port, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and Tianjin Port are examples of regional integrated hubs, which have distinctive features and rank top among the RCEP members. The comprehensive evaluation results of port clusters show that the Yangtze River Delta port cluster and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area port cluster have secured leading positions. Similarly, the Shandong port cluster situated around Bohai Bay and the BeijingTianjinHebei port cluster demonstrate robust international competitiveness.

CEIS and Shandong Port Group jointly released the Xinhua-SPG Port Bulk Commodity Index, which has been constantly upgraded and improved since its debut in 2021. The index has formed a comprehensive system of price index, inventory index, and entry & exit index. This year, the index system expanded the spot trading price index of sulfur and petroleum coke upon expansion.

After expansion, the index system includes seven price indices for crude oil, iron ore, coke, steel billet, hot rolled C material, sulfur, and petroleum coke, as well as six volume indices for iron ore inventory, coke inventory, inbound iron ore, outbound iron ore, inbound coke, and outbound coke.

According to the plan, the petroleum coke inventory index will continue to be released in future. The purpose is to accurately reflect the trend of commodity market fluctuations in ports, provide a value benchmark and effective reference for port trade activities, and comprehensively enhance the ability to monitor, analyze, and early warning capabilities of domestic and foreign commodity prices.

The RCEP Seaborne Trade Index Report (2023) took the 14 member countries (except for Laos) of RCEP as the research objects and selected six major categories of cargo, including container cargo, iron ore, coal, oil products, LNG, and car, as the analysis objects to reflect the annual development trend of RCEP seaborne trade from two dimensions, including overall trade volume and seaborne trade volume. According to the index report, the RCEP Seaborne Trade Index reached 101.4 in 2022, surpassing the 2019 baseline for two consecutive years. The RCEP seaborne trade volume has gained an increasingly larger global market share, especially in the container segment. The report reveals that the RCEP Seaborne Trade Index had a decline of 0.2 points year-on-year in 2022, in line with the prevailing downward trajectory observed in the worldwide volume of seaborne commerce. According to the report, the RCEP agreement, which will take full effect for the 15 signatories in the first half of 2023, would result in a more favorable seaborne trade prospect among RCEP members than the global trade outlook in 2023.